When we got our turn with the new Lexus F-Sports Edition, we weren’t all that impressed with the suped up IS 350C. Lexus had basically taken their boring sedan and juiced it up just for the sheer sport of it and, as it turns out, a geek on steroids still isn’t all that cool. Now it seems as if Lexus is bringing it back for the 2011MY, but with a few changes in its price and number of units.
Either people agreed with us and Lexus is lowering the price with the hopes that more units will sell and even out their bottom line, or the company thinks more people should get the chance to drive around in their pseudo-sports car. Something tells us that the jump from 100 units to 175 and the $55,120 (down from last year’s $57,500) price tag is more of a bargaining chip than it is a gesture of sincerity. Either way, the Lexus IS 350C F Sport Special Edition will go on sale at the end of February 2011.
Lexus didn’t concern themselves with upgrading the engine of the vehicle, which is probably a good thing because the car couldn’t handle the power it was given to begin with, but they did add a few new F Sport Performance accessories to make it worth our while - not that it is. They also changed the exterior colors from Tungsten Pearl and Obsidian to Starfire Pearl and Obsidian.
Hit the jump to read more about the Lexus IS 350C F Sport Special Edition.
There are just a few elements that set this special edition apart from its standard model. For starters, there is a new set of 19-inch forged alloy wheels with a dark graphite finish and Michelin Pilot Sport tires, plus a shock set developed in cooperation with Bilstein and lowering springs that reduce the ride height approximately one-inch in the front and rear resulting in a more aggressive appearance and lower center of gravity. Other additions include a sway bar set that helps reduce body roll and provide flatter cornering, and Bi-Xenon high intensity headlamps with LED daytime running lights. The best addition is the new shock set because, in the words of our test driver, last year’s model came with a suspension that seemed to be sculpted out of rock.
The Lexus IS 350C F Sport will come in two exterior colors - Starfire Pearl and Obsidian - and will feature special badging to further distinguish it from the rest of the models.
The same sporty look continues in the interior of the vehicle with black and red semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching, heated and ventilated front seats with wood trim, and Lexus Navigation.
The HDD navigation system features a seven-inch VGA touch-screen, Bluetooth phonebook download capabilities, a rear back-up camera, Voice Command casual-language voice recognition system, Lexus Enform, XM NavTraffic, XM NavWeather, and XM Sports and Stocks.
No changes will be made under the hood of this year’s F-Sport. The special edition will get the usual 3.5 liter V6 engine that develops a total of 306 hp at 6,400 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Lexus IS 350C F Sport Special Edition will go on sale at the end of February2011 and will carry a price of $55,120.
The Lexus IS350C takes on models like the BMW 3-Series convertible, the Audi S5, and the Volvo C70.
The BMW 3-Series has a starting price of $58,700 and is powered by a 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology that delivers a total of 320 HP. While the BMW is a few thousand dollars more expensive than the IS350C, it is indeed more powerful and features a more impressive design.
The C70 is being offered with three gas burning and two diesel engines: A turbocharged five cylinder making 227 HP is at the top of the list and still isn’t enough to out-power any of the vehicles mentioned here. The $39,950 price tag reflects this, but makes it a viable option for anyone who cannot afford the other competitors.
The Audi S5 is priced at $59,050 and is powered by a 3.0 TFSI engine that delivers 333 HP and 325 lb-ft. of torque. This is by far the best looking and fastest model of any of the cars mentioned here, so we would be more likely to take the Audi over any of the others, even with the slightly higher price.
Less powerful than some of its competitors
Will the new shock set absorb the bumps and bruises?